Beef braise with tomatoes, red wine, and garlic

As I've said before, Sundays are my favorite day to cook, but I really prefer the recipes to be of the low-and-slow-comfort-food variety, so that cooking feels leisurely and low key, especially in the winter. I made this dish on a freezing cold Sunday at about noon, and it had my apartment smelling like absolute heaven by 2:00. There is nothing on earth that smells like a red wine braise, especially with garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Oh my goodness.

Given that it doesn’t require much and also doesn’t have too many ingredients, my expectations weren’t terribly high—I was just looking for something hearty that would yield a lot of leftovers that would reheat well throughout the week. But I should have known better, based on Smitten Kitchen's rave reviews and insistence that we readers give it a whirl. This is honestly one of the most delicious roasts I’ve ever made! Don’t let the simplicity fool you. It was such good soul food, too—it warmed me to my core! 

This is an incredibly low maintenance dish. I have a feeling it’s pretty impossible to mess up, and that it wouldn’t be terribly sensitive to cooking time. My best advice is to actually pull it out and check it after a few hours, and if you feel like it could still be more tender, let it cook a little while longer and check again. 

This could easily be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven later for serving. That’s one of the best things about braised meat. 

Feel free to add any other spices or herbs that you love, as well, or mashed potatoes or egg noodles for serving. But I loved it on its own.

Beef braise with tomatoes, red wine, and garlic

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Yields 4-6 servings
2.5-3 lb boneless beef chuck
A generous amount of salt (maybe T?)
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
28 oz can peeled whole tomatoes, chopped up roughly in the can with scissors or knives
1 cup red wine
2 T balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place beef in a Dutch oven. Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and peppercorns. Scatter garlic cloves on and around the meat. Pour in the tomatoes, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Place cover on Dutch oven and set on middle rack in the oven. Cook for about 3 to 3.5 hours until meat is tender and falls apart when pulled with a fork—just test it if you're not sure. Press the roasted garlic out of their skins (if they haven’t already shed them) and discard skins. Serve in bowls as is, or serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes, with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.